Showing posts from 2010

The numbers are adding up!

iPads made an impact this holiday season as sales topped all expectations. And I am now a proud owner as well. Will this fuel creative minds to come up with more new ideas? Will NonStop share in the success?

Walking back into my Boulder home this week I was truly appreciative of how fortunate I was to live in Colorado. With an uninterrupted view of Colorado’s front ranges as well as the Continental Divide, with the snow covered 14,000’ Long’s Peak clearly visible beneath a few high clouds, it’s proving quite a spectacle!

Readers of the comForte Lounge blog may have caught the most recent post It’s now in our hands! where I wrote of how I came into possession of an iPad over Christmas, and how pleased I am to become completely untethered, free to check magazines, newspapers, and even blogs no matter where my travels take me. The picture above is of me seated in my kitchen nook, checking the cricket scores, of course!

I’m not the only one in the family, however, with an iPad. Before I re…

Still making notes on coasters?

There’s many who see the role of social media as a distraction and a nuisance at times, while there are those who believe it will spur innovation. Should we be moving more aggressively to support innovation?

Perhaps the highlight of the year for me was the time spent on the Nurburgring circuit, late in September. This circuit used to be the venue for the German Grand Prix and having the opportunity to complete a number of uneventful, and relatively slow, laps driving on Germany’s Grüne Hölle, the world-famous Nordschleife, or North Loop, of the Nürburgring, fulfilled a childhood dream when I imagined I was running wheel to wheel with historic figures from a bygone era as we raced around this highly challenging and extremely dangerous track.

For those who may have read the post “Respect the ‘Ring” I made to my social blog,, the track was wet on arrival. There had been heavy rain overnight that had continued into the morning hours and as we drove to the tr…

CI-Ready or Not!

ISV’s are pursuing certification; the credentials obtained will sort out whose embracing modern programming models and frameworks and it’s a good start! But it has HP’s full attention!
This weekend I paid a quick visit to the vineyards near Los Olivos, just outside of Solvang. Deep in “Sideways” territory that includes a number of the vineyards and restaurants featured in that film. Since the weather wasn’t particularly helpful, after tasting a flight of wines at Fess Parker winery, we selected a bottle of Syrah and enjoyed it with a little cheese we had brought with us.

The photo above is of me in the midst of reminiscing on the film and devouring the cheese that included a very good English Stilton. For those who may not recall the specifics of Sideways, two aging former college roommates that had been unsuccessful in their respective careers – one a television actor and the other a writer – elect to just get away from it all and spend the week in the Santa Ynez Valley prior to the …

Nothing seems to last ...

It was only a few weeks ago when we took our car to the track, for the last time this year. And it was a wet weekend, raining so hard on Saturday that all events were cancelled. It was still a gamble as Sunday morning rolled around as the rain continued to come down, but intrepid drivers were not prepared to give up on the entire weekend.

The picture here is of the Corvette on grid, rain easing up just a little, but with me a tad anxious all the same. The season had started with a wet weekend and so it seemed appropriate to end on a similar note.

Ending the year at the fabulous (for Corvettes) and very wet Auto Club Speedway, a combination of an infield road course with the wide open banked oval of the NASCAR circuit (and hence the label “roval”) seemed appropriate, if not a little depressing.

When there’s water on a track however, all drivers take to the circuit with a measured sense of self preservation. No matter the kind of car on track, there’s not a driver who wants to return t…

It's our reputation!

This week I flew to Cupertino on business, leaving LAX airport early in the morning. Pulling back from the gate and taxing to the active runway, we passed the forlorn sight of the QANTAS Airbus A380 super-jumbo standing idle alongside their hangers, pictured above (courtesy of AP, as published in the Australian newspaper).

Recent mishaps with the A380’s Rolls Royce engines have forced QANTAS to ground their fleet of super-jumbos. On a flight from Singapore to Sydney an engine failed catastrophically and the plane was very fortunate to make it safely back to Singapore.

QANTAS has for years enjoyed the reputation of never having lost a passenger to a plane crash and since the modern era of jet airlines remains alone in this category. Providing a reliable service is core to QANTAS’ business and any weakening of this message brings serious repercussions.

The Airbus A380 super-jumbo is an impressive and extremely innovative aircraft that has captured the flying public’s imagination. But …

Papers? Papers, please!

I was last in Berlin, Germany, in the early summer of 2005 and it was for the European ITUG user community event. There was much to anticipate, as Martin Fink had just been newly appointed to lead the NonStop organization, and the first new NonStop server based on the Intel Itanium chip was to be launched.

This was my last year as ITUG Chairman, and immediately following the user community event I flew to Warsaw, Poland, for a brief family vacation. However, I did take a few days out of my vacation to participate in the launch of the HP Integrity NonStop server at the Enterprise Network Storage Architecture (ENSA) conference in Copenhagen.

Also in attendance were Chris Rooke and Neil Pringle of HP, and Chris was particularly excited as he showed me a full-page advertisement from the Wall Street Journal. It featured Intel, highlighting the new HP-Intel partnership, and it welcomed the NonStop user community to a new era based on standards and commodity components.

As exciting as thi…

Reliable as the clock!

Anyone who has faced the prospect of driving on California’s Interstate 405 (I405), that bypasses downtown Los Angeles but represents a major arterial highway in and out of Los Angeles (LAX) airport, cannot escape the nervous twitches that develop or the sense of dread that begins to overwhelm them.

Ignore the big green signs that direct you to popular tourist destinations of Santa Monica and San Diego and forget about the prestige and glamor that may lie beyond the exits to Wilshire Boulevard, Mulholland Drive, and Sunset Boulevard, this freeway that can grow to be as wide as 12 lanes in some sections, is among the most dangerous freeways to traverse in America.

Hard pressed to catch a flight out of LAX there’s never any assurances that an accident will not occur only a mile or so ahead, or that construction workers will not close a lane or two, and what should take less than an hour ends up taking a lot longer, as every car comes to a stop, reluctantly joining everyone else in an …

We don't need no $#@% badges!

My trip home to Boulder took me past Breckenridge, Colorado. Its late fall and the leaves are falling rapidly, with only a sprinkling of yellow remaining on small groves of Aspens. Even though it was late Sunday afternoon the streets of Breckenridge were pretty much deserted, as the town wrestled with catering to an in-between-seasons crowd. As I looked in shop windows however, I couldn’t help but notice how snowboards had completely overtaken skis, and how, even with clothing, the impact of the younger generation and their passion for boarding had relegated almost everything else to the back shelf.
I recall overhearing, just a few years ago, a group of ski fanatics, outfitted in their color coordinated gear, expressing a disgust at the young people who wore jeans fashionably slipping of their hips, snowboards under their arms, messing the fashionable scene of winter sports … clearly, fashions change. But the move away from the difficult to control and just plain scary skis to the sim…

Remove the warnings!

It was great to see the general air of optimism surrounding last week’s NonStop Symposium. There were more attendees than expected, and most of the late arrivals were NonStop users. Nothing exemplified the upbeat atmosphere more than the very crowded Monday morning general session where there wasn’t a spare seat in the house, with many standing against the back wall. I even saw a wry smile on the faces of Winston Prather and Randy Meyer as the prepared to take to the stage. You could be forgiven if you thought that the former glory days of Tandem had returned and that once again, the community was taking flight! Now, this is NonStop, not Tandem. And this is HP and no longer Tandem Computers. The transition from what I remembered from decades past couldn’t have been more seamless, and the sense of community more pervasive. As the week progressed and the activities of each day wound down, it became increasingly more difficult to penetrate the gathering throng around the Fairmont Lobby b…

Still clinging to the sides?

In my most recent post to the comForte Lounge blog, SOA – and a cloudy future! I talked of a series of “firsts” and how, when it comes to IT, we are on the threshold of some really big “firsts” as we head towards deploying hybrids, clouds, services, and other mostly “meshed” technologies that are required to break down application silos. I suspect, this transformation will not follow the evolutionary steps of the past but instead, in a break with tradition and practices finely tuned over many years, we will see some pretty dramatic changes, with some adventurous twists and turns along the way. The picture above is of me near the entrance to Portofino, Italy, a key waypoint for English Crusaders centuries ago and where, only two weeks ago, I spent an enjoyable lunchtime. There is a reason I am sharing with you this experience, and I will get to it in a moment.

As we approach the commencement of the NonStop Symposium, now only a few days away, I am mindful that we are on the threshold of…